Numbers at Play: The Best Math Games for Kids


Math is an essential subject for kids to master. However, it can often seem daunting or boring to young learners. That’s why finding fun math games is key to helping children develop their numeracy skills. The right games make math engaging and even enjoyable. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best math game options for children of different grade levels.

Early Elementary School Kids

In early elementary school, kids are just learning foundational math concepts like counting, shapes, patterns, time, money and basic operations like addition and subtraction. Games for this age group should focus on reinforcing these fundamental skills through repetition and fun.

Board games like Chutes and Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-O, and Candy Land are great starting points. Kids can count spaces, recognize numbers, and develop number sense. Card games like Go Fish, Memory, and Old Maid also utilize matching, pairs and sequencing skills. For shape awareness and patterning, classic toys like shape sorters and pattern blocks are perfect hands-on tools.

Educational math apps can also be great for early learners if designed well. Look for games with simple, bold graphics and intuitive interfaces. Feedback and rewards help keep young kids engaged. Prodigy Math Game and Splash Math are top-rated options that align with school curriculum.

Upper Elementary Students

In upper elementary, math skills advance to multiplication, division, fractions, measurement, basic algebra and geometry concepts. Games should be levelled up as well to exercise these higher-order skills.

Board games that incorporate dice, spinners, money and other math-based elements are excellent for upper elementary kids. Monopoly, Payday, and Math Dash are a few examples. Card games can also be adapted to work on specific skills like multiplication facts. Manipulatives like fraction circles and algebra tiles give hands-on practice.

Digital math games take on more importance in this age group. Look for games that seamlessly blend math skill-building with adventure. Prodigy is still great for grades 4-6. DragonBox has users solve visual algebra and geometry puzzles. DeltaMath uniquely adjusts game difficulty to suit each child’s ability level.

Middle School Students

Math in middle school incorporates more advanced concepts like ratios, rates, percents, exponents, intro algebra, statistics and probability. Games for this age should provide robust practice opportunities that connect math to real-world topics.

Simulation exercises are excellent for middle schoolers to see math applied to practical situations. Have students calculate sales tax, compare prices per ounce, figure tips, manage budgets, etc. Strategy and logic games like Chess, Mastermind and Set also sharpen critical thinking.

For digital games, students may be drawn to options with more mature graphics, storylines and challenges. Look for games that blend math fundamentals with programming, puzzles, RPGs, digital worlds and other themes. DragonBox Big Numbers teaches exponents and scientific notation through particle collisions. Prodigy and DeltaMath have expanded content for middle school math mastery.

No matter their age, kids can build essential math skills through games that feel more like play. Keeping games engaging, hands-on and matched to your child’s abilities makes learning math fun instead of a chore. With a little creativity, you can turn math into playtime for kids at any grade level.